Don’t be surprised if you end up with a solid pop-country listening habit after hearing the artists in the latest round of CMT’s Artist Discovery program. You’ve been warned.
Faren Rachels “On Paper”
Rachels’ “On Paper” video is good medicine for anyone who needs a boost after hearing condescending remarks about their significant other. She gives an impassioned performance as she sings about loving someone despite their long list of wrongs on paper. The video captures three different imperfect love stories that prove fate can’t be stopped. “A cousin of mine brought a new guy she was dating to meet our family for the first time over the holidays,” Rachels recalls of the inspiration behind “On Paper.” “Several of the men in my family were sizing him up before he got there, talking about how he had already been married twice and didn’t seem to have the best past. Another cousin spoke up and said. “Well he might not look good on paper, but I’ve met him a couple of times, and I think he’s a pretty good guy. We should just give him a chance.’”
Gone West “Gone West”
The talent in Gone West would make any musician do anything to be in the band. And they only formed less than a year ago in Nashville. Gone West comprises of Grammy winner Colbie Caillat, Jason Reeves, Justin Kawika Young and former JaneDear Girl, Nelly Joy. Reeves is Joy’s husband and Caillat’s longtime collaborator since her breakout album Coco. Young, a four-time Hawaii Music Award winner, is Caillat’s fiancé. Featuring honeyed four-part harmony and dynamic, driving melodies, “Gone West” is a lively introduction to the band co-starring idyllic landscapes of where they came from and where they met.
Jaden Michaels “Behave”
Jaden Michaels’ “Behave” shimmers with pop country flash and pours on a side of drama as her heroine struggles with the idea of going back to a love who’s all wrong for her. “‘Behave’ is about the push and pull with knowing something is bad for you, but you toy with the thought of taking that risk,” Michaels tells CMT.com. “I think life is full of ups and downs, and we all have a different story. But I believe the best part of music and songwriting for me is being able to own it. Write your heart out until you heal yourself of whatever it may be.” “Behave” is the first single from a forthcoming EP due later this year. Michaels also has ambitions to collaborate with her sister, Julia Michaels.
Rayne Johnson “Laid Back”
“Laid Back” is essentially Rayne Johnson’s sage advice to the broken-hearted – never let anyone have power over your basic right to chill; especially a significant other who wronged you. “We were all sitting around having a few drinks in my garage,” Johnson recalls of the inspiration for “Laid Back.” “One of the guys was the most recent member of the broken-hearted club. He had been moping around all night. So we all said, ‘We gotta get you out of this funk you’re in. Let’s head out get a few drinks and hit up the Waffle House!’ His response was like, “Nah, I just want to (layback) and chill.” “Laid Back” is the first release from a forthcoming EP.